Out of the box holiday gift ideas

Hi Friends,

We are just a few short days away from Thanksgiving and then the mad rush of the Holiday season really starts with gift buying madness as I call it :).  With this in mind I thought that I would share some “out of the box” gift giving ideas and also some ideas of giving back.

When I was young one of my most favorite things to do at Holiday time with my mom was to select names off the “Giving Tree” either at our church or at the mall (the Salvation Army here puts names on trees in our mall of people and kids of all ages who are in need).  My mom would always let me select about 4, we would go shopping and by things like gloves, hats, scarves etc.  We would take them home, wrap them up and bring them back the next week.  I have continued that tradition and I still find so much joy in doing it, knowing I’m providing someone who otherwise might not have a gift.

But, What if you want to give back but don’t have extra money to spend?  Being a single mom for many years and working 3 jobs to stay afloat  – that was totally my situation most Christmases.  I did not always have extra money to purchase gifts.  So I had to find creative ways to give back.  For those of you who feel like they want to do something but don’t have the extra funds here are some of my….

“creative – out of the box” ideas I’ve come up with:

  1.  Volunteer some time at a soup kitchen – there are so many places that would love to have someone stop in and help cook a meal or bake some cookies – don’t just think of Rescue Missions or Salvation Army – There is the Ronald McDonald house, we have one of those that is for adults called the Sarah House, there are hospice homes, disabled veteran homes – elderly shut-ins – do a search you will be surprised at what you will find locally in your area
  2. Volunteer some time at an animal rescue or humane association
  3. Have old towels and washcloths?  Animal rescues are always looking for these things.
  4. Have used but still good coats – boots and outerwear? – Donate them to a church or school – there are so many out there that would love something that you or your kids don’t fit anymore 
  5. Volunteer some time at your church… if they have a day care during service or youth group or after school group that might need some extra help
  6. Love to bake cookies or breads ?  How about dropping some off at a Hospital or hospice home especially for the over night shifts – even nursing homes.
  7. Knit or crochet?  How about a blanket or 2 for a nursing home resident
  8. Have holiday music on a CD or MP3 player?  Copy some on to some CDs (they are so cheap now a days) and drop off at nursing homes – respite houses – disabled homes VA hospitals etc
  9. How about a box of instant hot cocoa and a bag of marshmallows to a low income after school program or day care

For out of the box – low cost ideas for loved ones and friends:

  1.  Offer a friend with kids a free night of kid sitting so they can have the night off
  2. Offer to walk or sit a friends pet – especially during holiday time it’s hard sometimes to get things done like shopping if you have to keep stopping home to let a pet out
  3. Help a loved one who doesn’t write well do the addresses on their holiday cards – I used to print up for my mom – mailing addresses of our family so that when she would send cards for any occasion she wouldn’t have to write these out as she has bad arthritis in her hands.
  4. Offer to help a friend or loved one wrap their holiday gifts
  5. If you can foods and have extra – put together a little “gift box” of some of your delicious canned goods – I know for myself I love things made by hand and with love!
  6. Again if you knit or crochet – think about scarves, coffee cozies, gloves, hats, socks or a lap blanket for a loved one or friend. 
  7. Have a friend or loved one who reads?  How about hitting a used book store or thrift store and picking up a few new reads – wrap them with a few new tea bags for a special night of reading and tea  
  8. Have a friend who loves coffee?  Look for a pretty mug (places like Marshalls or TJ Maxx, even the thrift store sell some beautiful inexpensive mugs) – grab a couple sample bags of some flavored coffees and wrap them all up with a couple candy canes for stir sticks. 
  9. How about a little handmade journal this could even be for a young girl.
  10. Put together a little art set – put together according to age but you can find fairly inexpensive mini paint sets or small watercolor paint sets at Michaels – even check out your local dollar store you’d be surprised what you can find in there.  Pick up a pretty journal – or make one add to it a couple pretty pens again you can find gel pens for fairly inexpensive – you don’t have to buy a huge set just a couple.  Wrap it up with a few pieces of pretty ribbon you have in your stash kids & adults love little kits of pretty creative things!

I hope that this helps some of you out there looking for some unique ideas for giving or giving back.  There are really so many creative ideas and you may have some of your own that would be unique to your loved one, these are more of a “General one size fits all ideas” just to help you get those creative juices flowing with ideas!!

I hope to have time to share a few gift giving ideas that are handmade with all of you in the next few weeks for those of you who would like to give something handmade.

If you missed my video posted on Saturday you can watch it by clicking here I show you how to create your own tag kit for holiday time – this could also be made and given to a friend or loved one or change the colors – paper etc to something neutral and not holiday and give as a gift to be used for any occasion throughout the year.

This year for the Holidays I am committing to not buying more crafty stuff but I am going to use what I have and make some pretty handmade gifts and kits (because lets face it most of us have a lot of “stuff” we can use).  It feels so good to use things I bought and loved but have been holding on to for the “right time to use it”. Well NOW is the right time.

Who else is in?  All you have to do is use something you already have in your stash instead of buying something new.  Share that you are using your holiday stash and tag me on social media – if you share on your blog please link back here so I can see what you are making and creating!  Get creative and use up some of the delicious holiday stash you have collected!

I will have a new Holiday tutorial on Friday, 11/24 on my Youtube channel.  Many times my tutorials get posted there before I can share them on my blog so be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any of my free tutorials.  You can do that here .

I leave you all with a little pug and frenchie love on this chilly day here 🙂

Have an amazing Monday my friends!!

xxoo – Sherry

Art Journaling Video & Meet Luna

Hi Friends,

I know as the holidays get closer and there are more things that need to be done it becomes more difficult to find time to be creative.  

I for one am the first to forget to take pics at an event or outing because I am just enjoying myself and living in the moment.  I also think that it’s important sometimes to do just that – enjoy the moment and not worry about documenting it.  But if you are feeling that you want take a few minutes to document your gratitude or write down a memory then the video I have created below will give you inspiration to do just that.  It didn’t take me hours to create these pages, I added a lot of writing as I have been finding that writing things I’m grateful for is so much more powerful than just thinking them.  For a little color and pizazz I have thrown in a little watercolor and of course some glitter.

In keeping with the theme for this month which is Gratitude –

In this video I share with you my process of documenting everyday things in which I am thankful.  I also include some of the bigger things in my life which I am grateful for – such as my husband and son.  I am using some of the tags from the free monthly download that went out in my November newsletter.  (This month’s download was all about tags) If you missed out on this month’s download you can purchase it here .  I will have a link at the bottom to sign up for my newsletter or go to the section on my website called Artsy News.  I also used a quote on my page from the free download you can get on my blog post here .

Now for some really big news that was quite unexpected to us.

Since losing my Pebbles Labor Day weekend I have been telling my husband I’m not getting any more dogs.  But all the while missing my Pebbles my world has had a hole in it.    A few days ago a friend contacted me said that they had a friend who just got a puppy and they were being evicted and they needed to find it a home.  I was like NO WAY!  Of course that was not the end of the conversation it went on and I got off the phone saying I’ll think about it but probably not.  So after Dan and I talked about it we agreed to meet the puppy and see what she was like.  The story seemed all too familiar to Budha’s who we rescued when she was 6 (she passed last December at the age of 17) and I was thinking maybe this puppy needs me as much as I need her.  Dan of course was like “look if you want to get her then we will”.

So of course it was love at first site and I knew that I just couldn’t leave her to end up in whatever home they could find because they didn’t have time to properly find a home.  So Sunday afternoon we had a new family member.  Meet Little Luna.  She is a French Bulldog (not a pug I know).  But just look at that face and those ears lol

She’s just a wee 6lbs and only 12 weeks old. And we are so blessed to have her now a part of our family.

So creating has been taking a bit of a back burner as puppy training is not all that easy lol.  But I managed to get in a little bit here and there when she sleeps lol.

I have started some holiday creating already – here I created this watercolor wreath.

I will have a fun holiday tutorial for you on my Youtube Channel this Friday 11/17.  Be sure to subscribe to my channel here so you don’t miss any of my new tutorials.  Also for all of you who have subscribed thank you so much I just hit 1000 subscribers and I can’t believe it.  To many it probably seems like – well that’s not many – but it’s huge to me and means so very much!  All of your support and comments means the world to me!!

I mentioned above that I would have a link to sign up for my monthly newsletter you can do that here .

Thank you so much friends for sharing your time with me today.  Sending lots of love, peace and happiness your way!!

xoxo – Sherry

An Artist I admire

Friends I’m excited to share with you all that I am a guest Artist in an online class with one of my most admired Artists – Traci Bautista.

We are both Guest Artists – along with several other amazing artists – teaching in Hacking the color wheel session 2

I had the great fortune to meet Traci at the September Retreat that I went to in Kentucky – photo below.

So it seems pretty surreal now teaching in the same online workshop with her.

  Hacking the Color Wheel Session 2

I urge you to check out the link here for all the details.   I am most excited about is the fact that Traci is Teaching a live session.  Since I taught in session 1 and have been to the live sessions I can tell you that it’s the next best thing to being right there in person.  You get to interact with the teacher and the other students and other teachers that attend,  and you can bet that I will certainly be there!

In my class we will be learning how to layer watercolors to create depth, below is a little sneak peek of my class 

You will walk away with a set of cards that will provide you will new color palettes to use, as well as a better understanding on how to layer, what colors give you the best depths and the difference between layering and mixing.

Here is a look at the other amazing artists and you can still sign up for Session 1 here  so you can see what we did in the first round of classes.

 

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend my friends !!

xoxo – Sherry

Autumn Themed Art Journal Tutorial

Hi Friends,

I have an exciting tutorial to share with all of you today.  Many of you received my Autumn Themed printable sheet free in my newsletter.  I wanted to share with all of you and art journal page that I created using some elements from that sheet as well as one of my new Digital Stamps that is now available in my Etsy Shop.

For those of you who missed out on this months free collage sheet you can purchase it here 

I will have a new free printable each month with my newsletter so be sure to sign up for it under the tab that says Artsy News at the top.

Now lets to get on with the creating shall we?

I do hope that you enjoyed today’s tutorial and I really appreciate you sharing your time with me on this fabulous day!

xoxo – Sherry

 

 

Gratitude Workshop Winner

Hi Friends,

I’m excited to announce the winner of the free spot in the Gratitude Junk Journal is:

Hi Sherry – I shared a link to your awesome looking workshop on Facebook. Let’s see something i’m grateful for: 1. that Pumpkin Spice season is only so long and 2. For creativity in all of us.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated.  For those who are still interested in getting in on this beautiful workshop there is still time to take advantage of the early bird special and receive $10 your enrollment. – no coupon needed.

Want to know more about my class in this Collaborative?

My special class focuses on the gratitude of loss and sadness and although the class is focused on gratitude it is also focused on art. Specifically in my class we will be exploring the use of liquid ink in our art journals, creating a delicate and meaningful background to add our focal image to that has depth and meaning.

Have you been wanting to incorporate a face into your art journaling but unsure how to?  Let me guide you step by step into creating a beautiful soulful face with eyes that have meaning and intensity.  This class is for beginners through advanced, and along the way we will cheer each other on in the online group and create beautiful connections through this class of Gratitude.  Click here to reserve your spot today

Wishing everyone a beautiful and relaxing evening!!

xoxo – Sherry

Artsy Gift Tags & Giveaway Update

Hi Friends,

First quickly about my giveaway for the free spot in the Gratitude Junk Journal Online Workshop – We have been asked to not reveal our winners until after the weekend – when the blog hop has finished for all instructors.  So Monday I will reveal the winner on my blog.

You can still take advantage of the early bird discount (Until October 22, 2017)  $10 off the original price – no discount code needed it’s already been discounted on the site – Click : GRATITUDE JUNK JOURNAL to sign up today.  I do hope that you will join me in this Epic Journey of Love and Gratitude, I know it is something I feed I need right now in my life even more than ever.

If you haven’t seen the video trailer for my class take a quick peek here.

 

I also wanted to share that today I have another team post for the RobenMarie Smith Design Team 

Here is a little sneak peek

Be Sure to stop over to RobenMarie’s Blog to see the video and all the details

And lastly I want to send out some positive vibes and thoughts to all those who have been dealing with flooding, hurricanes, wild fires and mass shootings.  My heart is heavy with all this grief in the world, I honestly can’t wrap my head around what is going on.  I turn on the news and it’s just pure heartache.  I have been dedicating my Yoga classes to all in the world who need strength and healing and praying that all of this suffering and sadness can come to an end soon.

Light, Love and Peace to all of you!

xoxo – Sherry

 

Who else needs a pick me up?

Hi Friends,

First and foremost thank you to all of you who left me comments, love and support here on my blog and all my social media sites (I’ve yet to get to all the posts and comments it’s been so overwhelming heartwarming thank you from the bottom of my heart!!)  Losing Pebbles has been a hard thing to swallow and it’s definitely going to take me some time to fully heal from this.

That being said I feel like it’s time for a bit of a pick me up – Yes?  During times like this I really try to focus on the good, the positive and upbeat.  Don’t get me wrong it’s hard – I never said it was easy – not one bit.  But surrounding myself with the positive helps take the edge off.

So right now is a PERFECT time to get working on your 30 days of Empowerment cards.  I have completed days 1-6, and I wanted to share those with you.  Info on the Empowerment cards Here .

My goal for these was to infuse 5-15 minutes of Positive Creativity into my daily life.  So lets make these simple – doable – fun – uplifting.

I have been inspired by the flowers that are still around me even though fall is coming fast, there is still a lot of beautiful color out there.

What I did first was create a fun, very quick and easy background to create my cards on. And I created this short video to share with all of you on how I did it:

Next I took my steel ruler to use as a straight edge and ripped my color blocks into cards. I did not measure these (they are not all the same size or shape) and I’m okay with that.  Sometimes not being so buttoned up and squared off is nice.

As you can see from my video, I’m still very much into my watercolor obsession lol

The next thing I did was come up with a positive affirmation or a quote that I looked up on Pinterest to coincide with my prompt for the day.

So here are days 1-6 prompts that I used for my cards

  1. Passionate

  2. Strength

  3. Worthy

  4. Purposeful

  5. Brilliance

  6. Peaceful

Here are my 6 completed cards drawing some inspiration from flowers and their beautiful colors.

Need some ideas to get started?

  1.  Do a bunch of backgrounds using a brayer and only a couple colors of paint
  2. Use an old store card to scrap paint onto a large sheet of paper – rip your paper into cards the size you like to work on
  3. Use 2 or 3 bold colors of paint to create some intense backgrounds – dry or set aside to dry then apply a light layer of white with a brayer to mute them down so you can write or draw on them
  4. Use and old magazine and add a layer of white gesso – let it dry then add some spritz of color with your spray inks – no spray inks water down some arylic paint and splatter it on with an old tooth brush or your paint brush.
  5. Use an old piece of cardboard to create a textured background on some paper – paint it on the cardboard with a foam brush and then press the cardboard onto your paper in a random pattern using a couple of colors for more added fun and pizzazz.

Don’t forget to share your creations in our Facebook group, as well as on social media using hash tag #empowerment-cards.

Hope you all have a positive and uplifting day!!

xoxo – Sherry

How I used my art journal for healing

Hi Friends,

How are you?  Long time no chat, I’ve missed you all terribly – I wish I could have brought you all along with me to view the amazing sites we saw on our trip.  I have taken many photos and I will share a couple at the end but first I want to get into what I’m sharing with you today.

I have a Vlog that I did and on it I am sharing some of our trip, as well as a journal flip through and a very meaningful art journal page.  Below you can see a photo of this art journal page and in my Vlog I will share with you my very emotional story behind this page and how creating this page helped me to heal.

 

Thank you so very much dear friends for letting me share this Vlog and my heart with all  of you today.  I also have some exciting news that I can’t share yet about an online collaborative class that I will be teaching it the details will be announced in October but I can tell you that if you like the idea of using your art journal to express your Art and your Heart you are going to love this new class I’m teaching in to keep your eyes peeled for sneak peeks here and on social media along the way!!❤️

Here are some of the links that I mentioned in my blog that I wanted to share with all of you:

The Validation Breakthrough by Naomi Feil

My latest project and video tutorial for the Roben-Marie Smith Design Team

Click here to watch the video

If you missed my little video on Instagram using this months StencilGirl Club stencils you can check that out below and here is a link to StencilGirl Club

Love handmade tags but no time to make them? How about a last minute tag for the bottle of wine you are bringing to a dinner party?  My Mermaid tags are just what you need.  They can be printed whenever you need them or ahead of time to have on hand, add some pretty ribbon or twine, or maybe a charm and they are ready to go.

Be sure you get them before they are gone, there are only a few left, and once they are gone they’re gone.  You have them for life to download them as many times as you want, so you will always have that special tag whenever you need it.

The other day I printed them out on some sticker paper that I had that is meant to be used for the Cricut (it’s a die cutting machine for those who might not know).  I just wanted to see what would happen if I printed them on this clear sticker paper and wow the result was amazing.  I stuck them to some mixed media paper, cut them out in a rectangle, used my corner rounder on all the corners.  Punched holes and added some natural hemp cord and some charms and pearls.  Wow the result was just gorgeous!!  Below I just wanted to show you a quick video of them.  Here is the link if you want to purchase:  Mermaids

I’m happy to be back here with all of you and I’m thankful to each and everyone of you in my life.  Have an amazing evening friends !!

xoxo – Sherry

Mermaids, Update and Design Team

Hello Dear Friends,

I know I’ve been away for a few days.  As I mentioned in one of my Vlogs we are have planned a little time away the hubby and I and it’s much needed.  So this week we have been working a ton to get things wrapped up to be able to enjoy our get away.  I was hoping to have time to do a little Vlog but as time just has been speeding away from me I couldn’t get it done.

So I wanted to just catch you all up to speed on whats going on and things to look for in the next couple weeks.

First and foremost we have our last week for the Empowered Creative Woman Workshop this week.  The workshop will stay open for 2 additional weeks for those who have signed up to have a chance to complete the workshop.  So it will stay open through August 24, 2017.  If you want to check it out you can see the post about it on my welcome/ home page that will take you to the blog post with all the details.

So if you follow me on Instagram, then you saw that I was dying Mermaid Ribbon, just love that teal – blue – green color it’s sooo deep and luscious!  We I decided to dye a few other colors as well and you can see my final product below all wound on tags and ready for use!


So what was all that Mermaid ribbon for???

Well I had a custom order for some Mermaid Tags and here you can see them all completed with their ribbons ready to go to their new home.

Here are few close ups

They were so popular that I decided to make them a digital download in my Etsy Shop.  There is a limited quantity of them so if you want them, you better grab them quick before they are gone.  You can purchase them Here

Today is my turn up on the Roben-Marie Smith Blog for a Design Team tutorial that you should definitely check out here is the link and a sneak peek below of the inspiration journal we will be creating in the tutorial.

Hope all of you have an amazing weekend and week, I will be taking a much needed break next week.  You can find some pics probably on Instagram of our little get away but for the most part I will be offline.

One of my fabulous followers and friends on here asked for a pic of me with my husband so here are a couple pics of us and who I will be sharing my downtime with this next week.  The first pic is of us earlier this year at Belhurst Castle in the Fingerlakes, we stayed there for a little get away this spring it’s pretty close to us about 45 min to an hour away.  The second pic was this summer at a near by winery and bistro they have a beautiful out door sitting area and it’s a beautiful place to have lunch in the summer.

Talk to you all soon !!

xxoo- Sherry